Vice Squad
Sunday, October 10, 2004
Support for the Crackdowns on Prostitution in Korea

First there is the crackdown by the Korean authorities, one that has been met with large protests by prostitutes. A separate (but perhaps not unconnected) reform is a plan to alter the US Military Code of Justice, to make it punishable by up to one year in jail and a dishonorable discharge for soldiers to patronize a prostitute. The Department of Defense paper, Stars and Stripes, finds some support for the second reform among Filipina bar girls in South Korea. Things have quieted down in Tongduchon, Korea, too, "since the deployment of 3,600 2nd Infantry Division troops to Iraq in August."

Stars and Stripes also provides useful background and a summary of the effects of the enforcement crackdown (including the use of informants that we mentioned last week), which is due to end on October 31. A sample:
While prostitution has been illegal in South Korea since 1948, officials said, it has long been an open and rarely punished practice. Brothel owners operate in the open, with nearly 100 distinct red-light districts throughout the country. The system thrived on bribes and sexual favors, police officials have acknowledged, vowing to change the way they operate.

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